Poor iPhone X sales weigh down Samsung’s Oct.-Dec. results

Operating profit of Samsung Electronics’ display business logged a smaller-than-expected year-on-year gain of 5% in the last quarter of 2017. © AP

SEOUL — Samsung Electronics on Wednesday announced weaker-than-expected results in its display business in the October-December period of 2017, hit by poor iPhone sales by Apple.

Samsung said it logged an operating profit of 1.41 trillion won ($1.31 billion) in the segment, featuring high-precision organic light-emitting diode panels, in the quarter, up 5% from a year earlier but lower than market projections by 400 billion won to 500 billion won.

Many analysts in South Korea had earlier projected the profit at 1.8 trillion won to 1.9 trillion won.

At the start of this year, NH Investment & Securities lowered its initial projection, noting that sales of OLED panels to Apple had fallen short of expectations. But the announced profit was even smaller than the revised forecast by around 200 billion won.

Samsung exclusively supplies organic OLED panels for Apple’s iPhone X. Apple is expected to cut its January-March production target for the high-end smartphone model in half because its high price of more than $1,000 has resulted in slower-than-expected sales. Some analysts said Samsung’s profit in the first quarter of this year may fall short of market forecasts by 400 billion won or more.

Samsung exclusively supplies OLED panels for Apple’s iPhone X, of which sales has been slower than expected.

Samsung Display will cope with a decrease in the supply of OLED displays to Apple by expanding deals with Chinese and other users on a global basis, the display maker’s senior official said Wednesday.

Samsung Electronics chalked up an annual operating profit of 53 trillion won from overall operations thanks to strong sales of memory chips. While the impact of the display division’s weaker-than-expected performance is limited, high prices of Samsung stock will be adversely affected as they have factored in the growth of the OLED display business.